Office of Insular Affairs

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The Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) is a unit of the United States Department of the Interior that oversees federal administration of several United States possessions. It is the successor to the Bureau of Insular Affairs of the War Department, which administered certain territories from 1902 to 1939, and the Office of Territorial Affairs (formerly the Division of Territories and Island Possessions and then the Office of Territories) in the Interior Department, which was responsible for certain territories from the 1930s to the 1990s. The word "insular" comes from the Latin word insula ("island").

Currently, the OIA has administrative responsibility for coordinating federal policy in the territories of American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and oversight of federal programs and funds in the freely associated Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau.

The OIA, led by the Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Insular Areas (since September 2009, Anthony M. Babauta), also has jurisdiction of "excluded areas" of Palmyra Atoll[1] and "residual administration" of Wake Island.[2]

Relations between the United States and Puerto Rico are coordinated between the Office of the Deputy Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, not the OIA.

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